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Moscow court rejects Russia’s first claim to MasterCard

January 16, 2015, 18:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A Moscow citizen has filed a lawsuit against MasterCard back in 2014 claiming that his card was blocked because of US sanctions towards his bank without prior notice
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© AP Photo/Toby Talbot

MOSCOW, January 16 /TASS/. A Moscow district court has rejected Russia’s first claim against the US MasterCard payment system lodged by Russian national Alexander Moskovkin. His MasterCard was blocked without any prior notification shortly after the US Department of the Treasury had imposed sanctions on some Russian banks and financial institutions.

On March 21, 2014, Alexander Moskovkin could not use his MasterCard to pay for the purchases he had made in a supermarket. It turned out that his MasterCard was blocked because it had been issued by a Russian bank that had fallen under the US sanctions. Moskovkin decided to demand compensation from MasterCard for the moral and material damage.

It was Russia’s first lawsuit against the US payment systems since the United States imposed sanctions on Russian banks and financial institutions over Russia’s policy in Ukraine. Moskovkin hoped that, if satisfied, his claim could create a precedent for the entire Russian judicial system enabling hundreds of thousands of Russian nationals whose cards have been blocked because of the US sanctions to file similar lawsuits to the Visa and MasterCard payment systems.

But a Moscow district court had ruled that Moskovkin’s claim was not based on the law. The appellate board of the Moscow City Court upheld that decision on Friday, January 16.

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